Ben Stokes has been added to the England squad for this winter’s Ashes series against Australia.
The talismanic all-rounder was left out of England’s initial squad to travel Down Under after taking time off to protect his mental health and have surgery on a broken finger.
But Stokes has been the given the all-clear by doctors to fly out with his England team-mates next week and said: “I’m ready for Australia.”
“I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted,” said Stokes.
“I am looking forward to seeing my mates and being on the field with them.”
England depart for Australia to try to win back the Ashes on 4 November and are due to begin the first Test match in Brisbane on 8 December.
Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles, said: “Following a very successful operation on his finger and several conversations over the last few weeks between Ben and I, our medical staff and his management team, Ben called me to say he was ready to return to cricket and was excited about the prospect of playing a significant role in the Ashes series.
“Time and time again, Ben has demonstrated how important he is to the England team and having him available for the Ashes series is excellent news for all of us and, in particular, Chris (Silverwood), Joe (Root) and the rest of the players.
“Having not played for some time, we will move forward cautiously over the next few weeks to ensure he is fully prepared across all facets of his game.
“Ahead of a very busy period of cricket, we continue to remain mindful of the stresses on all our personnel, and our primary focus continues to be the wellbeing of all of our players and support staff.”